Re-orientation, sanctions will change Nigeria’s business environment—VP Osinbajo

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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A combination of attitudinal change and sanctions for infractions will help in changing Nigeria’s business environment, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

Professor Osinbajo stated this on Monday at an extended meeting of the Presidential Business Environment Council, PEBEC, held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“People have for long thought that when I’m in a position of a regulator, it is also a position where I can bully people, I can make money for myself and all of that,” he said,  pointing out that part on the way of changing this impression is by “ensuring that there is consequence for misbehaviour.”

According to the Vice President, President Muhammadu Buhari “has asked that we take a good look” at this issue.

“He believes very strongly that we must look at how those who do not comply with instructions, do not comply with orders or found to be misbehaving in one way or the other should be sanctioned appropriately.” 

VP Osinbajo said the journey of building an enabling business environment “is more a journey of national transformation because what we are talking about is changing attitude that has long been entrenched.”

Systemic problem

The vice President said the problems being dealt with in trying to create an enabling business environment was systemic and had taken a long while to entrench themselves and would time to be tackled.

“So, we need some patience and some time to be able to surmount some of the challenges to surmount

From left. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry , Trade and Investment and secretary to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment,(PEBEC) Jumoke Odunwole; Minister of Finance ,Kemi Adeosun; Sen. Ibn Na’alla and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the PEBEC Meeting at the State House Banquet in Abuja on monday

Game-Changing Collaboration

Vice President Osinbajo said the successes recorded in creating the easy doing business in Nigeria, which led to Nigeria rising 24 places from 169 to 145 in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking for 2017 was made possible through the collaboration o the National Assembly and the judiciary.

“Our successes so far demonstrates the game-changing effect of executive , legislative and judiciary cooperation as well as the collaboration between the federal government and the states and of course the private sector. So, today, significant legislative and judiciary reforms have been achieved working closely with the NASS and the judiciary.  In 2017, PEBEC in collaboration with NASS delivered two acts, which enable access to credit and this is a vital requirement for SMEs.  This year the Company and Allied Matters Act has been repealed and re-enacted by the Senate and is currently awaiting passage by the House of Representatives.  The judiciary has also been a friend strong partner in reforming the whole dispute resolution landscape. “

He also acknowledged the reforms at the states, especially Lagos and Kano, which have led to improvement in the ease of doing business.

From left. Minister of Budget and National Planning , Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma ; Minister of Information, Lai Muhammed; Sen. Ibn Na, alla and Minister of Trade and Investment , Okechukwu Enelamah during Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council at the State Banquet Hall Abuja on Monday

Earlier, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said the meeting was convened for stock-taking, for the appreciation of those who have worked to ensure the successes recorded and to plan how to move forward.

Nnenna.O